Fluvanna sports in review – 2020

By Duncan Nixon

In what seems like long, long ago in another galaxy, the Fluco 2019-2020 winter sports teams turned in some outstanding performances before the COVID-19 pandemic shut things down. The boys’ basketball team under coach Heath Brally looked very promising as three underclassmen at guard led the way. Kobe Edmonds, Isaac Rivera and Bobby Gardner gave the Flucos a backcourt to be envied.

The girls’ basketball team had a very successful season. Chad White’ squad was led by a trio of seniors  who are likely to play at the next level. Navaeh Ivory led the way for the Flucos, while Maya Wright and Jules Shepard were also major contributors.

In the indoor track and field season, the boys’ team was extremely successful. The squad won the Region 3C meet for the first time ever. Eli Hartzog, Ethan Yancey, Eric White, Ledric Reid and Cameron Holland all qualified for the state meet. On the girls’ side Amina Wilson. Hattie Lintecum, Jules Shephard and Shea Hart all qualified for the state meet. Hartzog and Reid qualified for the nationals in New York City.

In wrestling, the Flucos hosted the Region 3C year ended meet and Coach Michael Gore’s squad qualified wrestlers in 12 of 14 weight categories.   The Fluco team then sent four wrestlers, Jariq Henson, Shawn Metcalf, Tylor Stoy and Alden Valentine.

The Fluco athletes were off to a good start in 2020, but then the virus hit and hit hard. On March 20, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued an executive order canceling the 2020 spring sports season. This was particular painful for the Fluco baseball squad, which was planning on going into the 2020 season as the defending state champions. In addition to baseball, Fluco athletes lost their softball season, their lacrosse seasons, their soccer seasons, their tennis seasons and their outdoor track and field seasons. The spring sports season is normally extremely busy for Fluco athletes, and suddenly it was gone.

The pandemic continued to menace the public over the summer and it became increasingly clear that the 2020 fall sports season was in jeopardy. On July 27, the Virginia High School League (VHSL), which is the arbiter of all public high school sports in Virginia, voted to carry forward with Virginia high sports. However, the ultimate decision was to put together shortened seasons for fall, winter and spring sports, with the fall sports shifted until after the winter sports. Accordingly, no fall sports were played this fall. The VHSL plan is currently being implemented as the 2020-2021 basketball seasons got under way in late December.

Although high school sports were canceled through almost the end of 2020, the sport of golf continued for local golfers of all ages after a brief respite. Mark Marshall, the PGA golf pro at the Lake Monticello course, said that the course was fully shut down from March 17 to April 1. The course initially reopened for play on nine holes with nine holes made available for walkers. This was done as a community service because while the course was fully closed, many Lake residents had found solace in using the golf course cart paths as walking paths for socially distance exercise. Ultimately, as restrictions were loosened state-wide, the golf course reopened for 18-hole play.

A number of social distancing restrictions were imposed and the golfing community seemed to be very consistent in complying with these restriction. Marshall noted that although two major events had to be canceled due to safety concerns regarding the virus, a number of activities were able to be resumed. The Lake Monticello’s prestigious Faulconer Tournament that brings in top amateur golfers from around Central Virginia could not be held, nor could the very popular Member-Guest tournament. Both would have brought a number of outside residents to the Lake course.

However, league play was able to resume after a hiatus and two regularly scheduled charity tournaments were also held. Additionally, the Peggy Kirk Bell tournament for outstanding young women golfers came off without a hitch, as strict anti-COVID-19 protocols were imposed and followed.

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